The language of Totty Spotting

I had a horrifying moment last week, I thought for one terrible moment I had caught the dreaded “Writers Block”, but it’s Ok you can breathe easy, it was just a spelling blip. I was writing an email and had to write “definelty, defintitly, definitately, definitely,” do you see what I mean? It is one of those words that even though you get the jist, you can’t quite get it right and the spell checker takes a while to catch up.

There are several words that get me, I’m one of the worse spellers in the world, and people laugh when I tell them that my favourite hobby is writing and I sometimes even manage to earn money from my poetry. I do honestly, it’s not bad stuff. But that’s for another day. It’s like this numerical dyslexia I have (wow, am I glad spell checker grabbed that one out of the bag), I get my 8’s and 3’s mixed up. Apart from that I’m a whizz at math, or is that arithmetic, or numeracy, well whatever they call it today, I can add up pretty smart.

My physics was shit hot at school but I got a dismal D for cookery, then called Home Economics. I got a bit bored you see, I mean who really needs to know that you fold and iron a handkerchief one way for a woman and another for a man? It all got a tad meh, after that.

Now I couldn’t tell you my capacitator, from my resister, but I can cook the world’s best Pavlova. So, school didn’t do much for me. When I began writing many years ago, it was for my daughter. Little stories to keep her amused. By the time she was ten, she was knee deep in Terry Pratchett books, and is now rereading them. I’ve had lots of different jobs, when needs must type of thing, but beyond a shadow of a doubt, writing is my greatest love, and it’s not because I can sit on my arse all day. I write because it clears my head, and it needs clearing. You see I have this active imagination that can run away with me and get me into all sorts of trouble. Take for instance Thursday. There I was waiting all innocently for my darling husband to meet me for coffee when the phone rang.

Interlude: Only for those of a certain age.
When I was in my 20’s and I was out, no one anywhere could get hold of me, and very few people had my telephone number. You would call friends at night, or at the weekend, and arrangements to meet would be made on the spot. And never broken, no quick texts to rearrange. Now the phone, beeps, purrs, rings and sounds off all bloody day. Texts, calls, notifications from FB, mail, calendar. You name it, I’m summoned by a tiny rectangular box and I jump to its commands.

The phone rang and it was a friend that is about to get married. We discussed the wedding dress, cakes and invites and men. We always end up discussing men. Not that we compare our men, her Steve is nothing like my Mark. For a start there’s about eight inches height difference between the two, and 30 years.

She asked what I was doing and I told her, “standing outside the Gym waiting for Mark.”

And there it was, the fantasy. The moment my mind went into overdrive. “I’m totty spotting.”

Now totty spotting is a recognised sport, all women do it, and don’t tell me you don’t girls. We are all allowed to window shop as long as we don’t start flashing the cash around. Only, I’m a bit more vocal at it than most and standing in front of the Gym you just know that I was going to end up spotting totty, and describing, and taking photos and sending them to my friend and discussing the totties abs, and other attributes. He was quite flustered by the end of it all, but he was a good sport and did pose for the photo. I had to take the photo because as I said I can live in a world of fantasy and like to make people laugh by stretching the truth into silly realms. But I couldn’t have made this up, for there walking towards me was a young, well-built good-looking guy. Now she has the proof on her phone if she hasn’t deleted it. After all what would a soon-to-married young woman want with a picture of buff totty on her phone?

Mark eventually turned up, in the wrong place of course and the day continued. I had written a heartfelt post for my FB page. I have been feeling miserable lately and I had a horrible day ahead of me. All my friends had been nice to me, which made me feel better. That was until Mark checked it out and pointed out that I had put impetuous as opposed to impetus. (spell checker had not been my friend on this occasion) So instead of not having the impetus to shower, I didn’t have the impetuous to shower. Now either my friends are too polite to say anything or they just didn’t notice, but it seems that Mark was the only grammar grandad out there. It was soon changed. No harm done. Once again, my spelling had let me down.

Here’s my point, I’m learning Spanish, “Holla”. And not only do I have an app, but I have a FB friend in Mexico, where, I’ll just throw this in here, I’m going in October, so I’m trying to translate her memes without the translator. That means that not only do I have to remember how to spell in English, I now have to be able to spell American and Spanish. Why? Because the only good app I found was an American one, and their English isn’t the same as mine.

Esto es para Marga, haré todo lo posible para no hacerme un completo idiota. Trataré de aprender tu idioma antes de venir a México.

Now, if you ask me to translate that back I wouldn’t have a clue, Google translate is a brilliant tool. But it won’t save me when it comes to learning the language.

I’ve just reread the Spanish, I hope I haven’t called her an idiot, otherwise I might have to book another hotel for the week.

With writer’s block cleared, my nightmare Thursday out of the way, my Spanish app in place and the weekend about to begin I wrote what I felt was one of my best poems…. And it died. Miserably. Too stoic, too morbid, too cryptic. In fact, I thought it was perfect.

Maye it’s not writers block that needs clearing after all, maybe it’s my choice of genre. Maybe I should stick to writing as a hobby and find a real job. Now I wonder if Men’s Health magazine needs a new totty spotter?


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